Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best of 2011: Movies

Snapper Carr

Best Summer Movie: Bridesmaids > The Hangover- Many people thought this movie was gonna be a simple chick flick.  When I told my friends this movie was amazing, they gave me weird looks,  scratched their heads and refused to believe it. This movie involves love, friendship, nominating Fight Club as a Bachelorette party option and pooping in public.

Breakout Star: All of the kids from Super 8- The story was great but it was the acting that made this movie excellent. Remember the bad acting from Spider-Man 1? I do! Tobey and Kristen have a lot to learn from these kids.

Biggest Disappointment:  Captain America- I think Disney is to blame for this. The acting sucked, the story was meh. Seriously, Bucky's "death" was soooooo anti-climatic. After watching this movie, I am a little worried about the Avengers movie. Either, it's going to be amazing or suck hard.

Best Surprise: Fast Five- Yes, it's with the original cast. I know Gabriel will roll his eyes but this was such an exciting action movie. The whole movie was intense and the fight scene between The Rock and Vin Diesel was legen....wait for it dary. By the way (Spoiler alert!!!!), Gabriel Rodriguez is alive and stealing cars overseas.

Best Actor: David Hyde Pierce in The Perfect Host. Remember those fond memories of Pierce as Niles? This movie and his character will rid you of all of them. Pierce plays a criminal who is psychotic, intelligent, devious, cunning and add a multi-personality disorder to the character.

Best Actress: Jodie Foster- She was absolutely brilliant in The Beaver. I can't believe, I just admitted that. Before this movie, I was never a fan because she always played the same character in every movie (Panic Room, The Brave One, and Flightplan (Hey Gabriel, remember that time you forced me to see that movie???) ). Critics believed that Mel Gibson stole the movie with his performance as a depressed husband and father. A lot of Hollywood critics firmly believed that this movie would rejuvenate his career but it didn't.  Instead, this movie made me realize the acting capabilities of Jodie Foster. She did a tremendous job finding her inner June Cleaver and Martha Kent.

Best Movie of the Year: I've never been a fan of the first generation of Marvel movies. The X-Men and Spider-Man movies didn't do it for me. The second generation has been amazing. It includes Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor, and X-Men: First Class. My movie of the year is X-Men: First class. I went into the theater being bummed out about Xavier's recruitment class. Although, I came out of the theater with a smile. Banshee and Havok were fun characters and the banter between all the young characters was so enjoyable. Watching the rise and fall of Xavier/Magneto's friendship was not to be missed. Also, it was tough to watch Hank McCoy's heart get broken into a million pieces. Hollywood doesn't always make the right decisions when it strays from the comic book storylines but this time, they got it right.

Gabriel Partridge

Best Summer Movie: Thor. While not exactly a best picture nominee, this was a pretty good movie; especially in the category of summer movies, where you get a lot of popcorn movies with huge explosions. We didn't really get that from Kenneth Branagh's Thor (I don't think anyone really expected a big budget, action packed summer movie from Shakespeare's Henry V, Hamlet, Benedick and Iago). We got a pretty damn good character piece about one of the most beloved Marvel characters ever. It far exceeded the other comic book movies this year, with the exception of the surprisingly competent X-Men: First Class which was just as good.

Breakout Star: Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, A Dangerous Method, Shame). This is a no brainer to me. Michael Fassbender has done some incredible performances in the last few years and 2011 really solidified him as a leading man. He's had really strong performances in Inglorious Basterds and Hunger in the last few years and I can't wait to see his awesomeness continue in 2012 with Ridley Scott's Prometheus.

Biggest Disappointment: There were a couple of movies that should have been a lot better than they were. Captain America, Green Lantern and The Thing all underperformed for me. None of these were awful movies but they really had a lot of unachieved potential. I love Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer is a classic, Jumanji is incomparable, and who can argue with Honey I Shrunk the Kids) but he definetly makes some bad movies. While Cap didn't quite get to being qualified as a "bad movie" it came dangerously close. It was saved by good performances by Chris Evans and the always awesome Hugo Weaving. Green Lantern is an example of another underachieving director. Martin Campbell has made a couple of solid Bond flicks and I actually loved Vertical Limit but Green Lantern was just uninspired. The Thing really didn't do anything different from the original John Carpenter classic, but it lacked the surprises and unbridled masculinity of Kurt Russell. However, my biggest disappointment this year was actor-extraordinaire Pete Postlethwaite dying. He's an incredible actor whose small but memorable performances in incredible movies (Inception, The Usual Suspects, The Town, The Lost World, Dragonheart and even Romeo + Juliet) helped shape some of these classics. 

Biggest Surprise: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I don't think a lot of people expected this movie to be as good as it was. It had the handicap of having a lesser Planet of the Apes movie (Tim Burton's) occur so recently. But this was just a really solid flick. James Franco was as good as ever and it turned in excellent supporting performances from John Lithgow and Tom Felton (pretty good year for Draco Malfoy himself, too). I can't say enough good things about Andy Serkis' performance also. That being said....

Best Actor: Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). It'd be easy to say Brad Pitt in Moneyball for this category, becuase he was undeniably excellent. But Andy Serkis is one of the most talented and underappreciated actors. He deserved an Oscar nod for Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s and I really hope he gets one for his performance as Caesar in the reboot of the Planet of the Apes series. Motion capture can require a lot more of its actors and I think Zoe Saldana deserved a nod for Avatar. Not to mention Serkis really stole the show away from some highly respected actors (James Franco, John Lithgow, Brian Cox). 

Best Actress: Elle Fanning (Super 8). She was really fantastic in this movie. I pretty much like anything JJ Abrams has ever done and Super 8 is no exception. In a movie that had some pretty good performances from Emmy winner Kyle Chandler (for Friday Night Lights this year) and Ron Eldard (and Bruce Greenwood in a motion capture role as the monster), the kids really ran away with this movie. Least among them being  Elle Fanning. She was equally likable and believable in this role and has all the makings of a great leading lady. 

Best Movie of the Year: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. As a serious Harry Potter geek I gotta say the conclusion to the franchise couldn't have satisfied more. I've watched these characters (and actors) grow up just as I did while reading the books. So, for me, a lot was riding on this last movie. David Yates couldn't have made a better finale for this epic franchise. It was action-packed, well acted and touching. I really couldn't have asked for more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Darkseid Arrives. Logan's a Decent Teacher. Starfire is now Human?

Justice League #4: Written by Geoff Johns, Art by Jim Lee
This issue was the best one yet. The story is moving along and the dialogue is fantastic. The scene where the team is debating on who should lead them was classic. Johns' writes each character perfectly and its fun watching Hal be the "class clown". The back and forth banter between Batman, Green Lantern and Aquaman was quite enjoyable. Watching these characters quarrel, reminds me how much I missed these characters in JLA pre52. I have one problem with the issue, the art seemed sloppy. Did anyone else notice that?  Did you notice page eight? Wonder Woman and Aquaman both looked odd. However, I do applaud Lee, when he has the sharks jump out of the ocean to eat the Parademons. That was a cool scene. By the way, the introduction of Darkseid sent chills down my spine. I love the new costume design. In the final scene, he raises his hands, the ground shakes and all the heroes fell to their knees.  That was a lot of fun to read.
Rate 8/10

Wolverine and the X-Men #3: Written by Jason Aaron and Art by Chris Bachalo
After reading this issue, I have decided that I am Team Wolverine. I'll say it now, I am not a fan of the art but I think it fits this story arc. Jason Aaron's first arc is a lot of fun. I'm still not happy with the New Hellfire Club. Jason Aaron hasn't done enough to convince the reader why they exist.  I LOVE Quentin Quire. He's this annoying punk who is trying too hard to be "cool".  I'm really excited to watch him become an omega level character. My favorite part of the comic is the supporting cast. The Brod Kid, Idie and Kid Gladiator are so much fun to read. The best scene was the back and forth banter between those three and Quire. Quire was devastated that none of these new students knew about his juvenile record when he attended Xavier’s school. The focus on the characters is something missing in Uncanny X-men and in this series, it helps the story grow.
Rate 8.5/10

Red Hood and the Outlaws #4: Written by Scott Lodbell and Kenneth Rocafort.
I'm going to be honest with you, I wasn't a fan of the art at first but it's really grown on me. First, Rocafort does a tremendous with the face expressions. Take a glance at the bar scene, everyone has a different expression. You know what that means? The artist isn't lazy and works hard to give each character a personality. The first Starfire seen was artistically beautiful. Last issue ended with an emotional bang and this issue started slow but it improved along the way. In the first three issues, Lodbell slowly introduces the mindset of each character. In this issue, he gave us a lot. For example, Starfire and Roy explain why they are teaming up with the Red Hood in the first place. It’s fun to watch these characters become actual good friends. Finally, we get the first appearance of the villain. Oh but wait....the villain isn’t the villain. It seems as if Red Hood's detective skills failed and he's been tricked. By the way, I think Starfire lost her powers and is now human...maybe???
Rate 7/10

Tis' The Season

"With great power comes great responsibility."

                              -Uncle Ben

For once, our blog won't be about discussing or debating our favorite comic books. Instead, I am asking my fellow Nerdis to help one of our own. On Tuesday, December 20th, Marc Lombardi's mother's house was broke into.

Items Stolen:

"Among the items taken were jewelry given to her by our deceased father (her best friend), items belonging to our grandfather, who was living with our mother and being cared for by her until he only recently passed away  on December 9th, (two weeks to the day), medication, and over $1000 in cash that was unfortunately already placed in Christmas Cards to be given to her friends and family in the coming days plus a few gift cards. Even more sickening, an additional $1,100 in cash was also stolen, which she has been saving for the past two weeks to pay towards the $2500 she owned for funeral expenses for her father. BTW-Homeowners Insurance DOES NOT cover cash and giftcards:("

I am asking for your help. I know plenty of you have spent your own cash buying presents for family members you probably don't like. I am giving you the opportunity to help put a smile on Mrs. Lombardi's face. Let's help bring Christmas to Mrs. Lombardi and her family.

Here is the link to help fund Mrs Lombardi's Christmas Spirit: http://funds.gofundme.com/bkwsc

Thank you all and Happy Holidays

The Best of 2011: TV Shows

Snapper Carr
Biggest Disappointment: Spending seven episodes on Sophia going missing, only to find out she was a zombie all along. (The Walking Dead).

Best Twist: Tom Walker on Homeland. For the first half of Homeland, we were lead to believe that Tom Walker was killed by the male lead, Brody. We watched his body get thrown into an open grave. However, he comes back alive, energized and ready to terrorize America.  

Best Single Episode: Finale: Part 2 (Smallville). Why does everyone hate on this show? Here are a few reasons. 1. It’s Nerdi 2. It has nothing to do with the comic 3. Bad acting. Here is why I loved this show and especially its series finale. I spent 10 years with this show. I first watched it as a ninth grader in high school. This show wasn’t about Superman, it was about the development of Clark Kent. The second part of the series finale actually brought me to tears. Most fans were upset that we never saw Clark as Superman. I didn’t mind. The show wasn’t about Superman, it was about Clark Kent and his journey to becoming Earth’s greatest hero.

Best New TV Show: Shameless. Picture your family; but as white trash, with an alcoholic father, and living in the ghetto. But at the end of the day your family only survives by depending on each other.  White trash doesn’t necessarily mean their bad people. Right?

Best Actress: Claire Danes. She plays a bat-shit crazy CIA agent. At times, we can’t help but doubt her but other times we want to believe that she is right.
Best Actor: John Noble. The most underappreciated actor on television. On the show he plays two characters that are polar opposites of each other. He should have been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor at this year’s Emmys but was sadly over looked. 

Best TV Show: Fringe. This show is the most underrated show on television. Some would compare it to X-Files but, to me it has better characters, better stories and is a little bit less confusing than Lost.

Gabriel Partridge
Biggest Disappointment: One-dimensional characters on Terra Nova. While the stories and the CGI are pretty memorable, the characters are drab and boring.

Best Twist: Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) has been dead the whole time. I feel like I’m pretty good at predicting the twists and turns for the dramas I watch, but I really just didn’t see this one coming. Colin Hanks seemed to be too innocent to be the crazy-ass villain he turns out to be, so the fact that the “main-villain” isn’t a villain (or even alive) at all, was a pretty sweet twist.

Best Single Episode: Save the Last One (The Walking Dead). The seemingly meaningless opening with Shane shaving his head evolves into him murdering Otis for his own selfish (or maybe selfless?) reasons and everything in between make for a damn fascinating episode.

Best New TV Show: Homeland. I love characters that are just waiting to explode at any moment. On Homeland I’m always waiting for Damian Lewis or Claire Danes to lose their shit (and they do, often). It keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing the entire time.

Best Actress: Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan, Dexter). She’s completely underappreciated. She is so likable and so adorably vulgar on the show as Dex’s little sis. I feel like she should be nominated every year but never really gets there. 

Best Actor: Jon Bernthal (Shane, The Walking Dead). He gives an utterly intense performance every week. Love or hate his character, you gotta admit, he gives it his all episode after episode and rocks it every time.

Best TV Show: The Walking Dead. I’ve already written a post about why this is the best show on TV since Lost, and God knows I love me some Lost. It’s addicting, the characters are fascinating and it’s one of the most technically awesome shows I’ve ever seen.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Robin in The Dark Knight Rises????

Do you the notice the R?

There is more.....

The actor who played Robin in the 60s was Burt Ward.

Yes, I know that Hines Ward is in the movie but Nolan is a genius. You think its a coincidence?


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Pull List for 12/21/11

10. D.C Universe Presents #4
9. Xenoholics #3
8. Red Hood and the Outlaws #4
7. Invincible #86
6. Ultimate Spider-Man #5
5. Fables #112
4. Uncanny X-Force #19
3. Justice League #4
2. Incredible Hulk #3
1. Batman #4

Incredible Hulk #3Fables #112

Xenoholics #3

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

The trailer that we've all been wating for.

Are you ready????

The Six Minute Prologue

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A New Ray! A traitor among the X-Men?

The Ray  #1 (DC Comics, Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, Art by Rich Perrotta)

A majority of the first issues of 52 have been decent. Others have been awesome, even some were meh. However, The Ray #1 was fun, exciting and different. Right away, I fell in love with all the characters. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiott’s The Ray was well-written for an origin story. If you ever see them on the street, I think you need to give them a high-five or buy them a round of drinks. My problem with origins stories is this: Hero gets powers, hides them from their family and questions whether or not they can be a hero. Within the first few pages, Lucien’s parents, best friend and girlfriend learn of his powers. My only problem, they all seemed too cool about it. None of them really freaked out.  The Ray’s supporting case brings in an element that not a lot comic books have now a days. Support casts are usually small and useless. That is not the case with this book. His parents are hippies and Lucien has himself a sugar mama.  Unlike many heroes in the beginning, Lucien is excited about all the possibilities that his powers will bring him. By the way, the final scene was unexpected. As a reader, you will be worried for Lucien.

Rate 10/10

Ultimate X-Men #1 (Marvel, Written by Nick Spencer, Art by Paco Medina

When I was in high school, one of my favorite comic books was Ultimate X-Men. Everything in the Ultimate Universe was unique and I loved it. However, my love for the U.U ended after Ultimatum. I’ve been a fan of Jeph Loeb’s work over the years but I think Ultimatum failed miserably. Post-Ultimatum stories were stale and boring. When I learned that Nick Spencer, writer of Morning Glories, would be writing Ultimate X-men, my prayers were answered. I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to produce. Four issues in and I’m disappointed. The conversation between Quicksilver, the President and Ms. Cooper needs to done already. It’s been going on since issue 1 and the reader wants the story to move. Is anyone else annoyed with Kitty? She is annoying, super emo and blah. My favorite scene in this issue was when Johnny Storm confronted Kitty. She keeps giving lectures to Bobby and Drake. Unlike those two, she wasn’t fighting along aside Peter Parker as he was dying. The biggest surprise so far, Rogue being a possible traitor.

Rate 6/10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Year-end Review of the New 52.

In 2011, the biggest thing to hit the comic book world was the New 52. The announcement of 52 new titles from DC (some of them reboots of age old series, some being new origins, some new series altogether) was unquestionably awesome. Some big things happened in the new 52: Barbara Gordon is out of her wheel chair, Superman’s red undies are now presumably beneath the tights, Sinestro is fighting against his own Corps, Barry Allen is no longer married to Iris (oh, and Where’s Wally?), Cyborg has finally made it into the Justice League, Superboy got a new origin, and somehow Geoff Johns made Aquaman cool again. But, as expected, the New 52 has been met with mixed reviews. When you publish that many new titles, you’re bound to have some hits and some misses. Most critics agree that Animal-Man, Action Comics, O.M.A.C, Swamp Thing and Aquaman got the job done. However, a lot of the new releases haven’t been quite as well received. Hawk and Dove, DC Universe Presents: Deadman, Red Hood and the Outlaws (wired.com) and The Fury of Firestorm (MTV Geek) all got sub-par ratings from critics.
The New 52 was undoubtedly a truly inspired marketing move. Whether you hated the idea or loved it, you bought some of these comics, just so that you could voice your opinion on how they did with their reboot. Starting fresh is always an appealing move. It makes die-hard fans buy the comics so they can say how they feel about it and it also lures in new fans because it makes the titles approachable and easy to start with.
Just as the critic’s opinions vary about how well DC did on their reboot so do we here at The Illumi-Nerdi:
Snapper Carr:  First of all, thank you 52. Since 1993, I have been a fan of comic books. I felt alone in loving comics. But after the new 52 came out, I was no longer alone. Now, two of my friends are huge fans of comic books just because of DC’s reboot. Out of all the new 52, I read 33. I love some of the titles and others bore me. My favorite comic so far is Action Comics. Superman is young and an amateur. He is not that powerful and his marriage to Lois has been made void. The most underrated comic book of the new 52 is Red Hood and the Outlaws. Yes, Starfire isn’t the one from the Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans but she is much of a badass as her counterparts.  When Connor Kent died I was sad and when he returned I was so excited for comic books again. After reading the first issue, I can’t wait to see the development of an emotionless new Superboy. I was soooo excited for Grifter but by the end I found his origin to be mundane. It simply lacked excitement. For the last 30 years, there have been so many Supergirls. Some origins have been interesting, others have sucked. The new 52 Supergirl is boring and lame. The first two issues were an entire fight scene. I expected a fresh origin story but what I got just made me fall asleep. My least favorite comic was Stormwatch. I felt so thrown into a conflict that I was unfamiliar with. Also, I was disappointed with Martin Manhunter being on the team. He is the soul of the Justice League and he is on a team with known murderers. What a bummer…
Gabriel Partridge: My favorite new title is All-Star Western. I got this on a whim at the last minute when it came out and was instantly, pleasantly surprised. I didn’t expect all of the awesome references to Gotham. Seeing Arkham, hearing about the Waynes and Mayor Cobblepot, were pretty cool little references. Plus, it has been a pretty damn cool murder mystery with Jonah Hex, a pretty underrated character. I also loved Detective Comics. It hasn’t quite been universally well received but I think it’s fantastic. The Dollmaker is a freaking awesome original villain. He has the chaos of the Joker but the brilliant planning of Lex Luthor. Tony Daniel weaves a genuinely well done mystery yarn with the world’s greatest detective. I thought Deadman was also underappreciated. First of all, it’s a pretty cool concept, but that’s nothing new. Second of all, I really like what they’re doing with him. Boston Brand going against the god, Rama and trying to take a little more control of his own destiny is pretty damn cool. In keeping with the Justice League Dark theme, Hellblazer seemed to be an influence here, and that’s a pretty damn good lead to follow. 
So far, I’ve really liked Justice League also. It’s a completely new origin story, with genuinely likable characters. I’ve never been the biggest Green Lantern fan but Hal was pretty funny in the first few issues. I also love that Cyborg has finally been included in JLA. I like the hint at the metamorphosis of Victor Stone into Cyborg in the most recent issue. That being said, I’ve been pretty disappointed in most of the Superman titles. Action Comics has been a complete let down to me. I guess I just found the story really uninteresting and unexciting. It really didn’t do it for me. Superboy was also a really boring story. Half of issue one, Superboy was in a tank, the other half didn’t even actually happen.
            In keeping with the “52” theme, our combined score of the reboot is a 37 out of a possible 52. Even though we at The Illumi-Nerdi disagree on many of the titles, we’re definitely happy the New 52 happened. It has revitalized comics in a way that we can only hope Marvel can follow in 2012. Check out our post next week when we argue the validity and need for Marvel to reestablish itself in 2012. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Pull List: 12/14/11

1. Green Lantern #4
2. Avengers X-Sanction #1
3. Witchblade #150
4. Severed #5
5. The Shade #3
6. American Vampire #21                                                
7. Batman and Robin #4
8. Witch Doctor Volume 1. Under the Knife
9. Magneto: Not a Hero # 2
10. Avengers Academy #23

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Comic Reviews

Action Comics #4

This was a fun read. Usually, I have problems with a comic book if the entire issue is a fight scene but I didn’t this time around. I was thrilled to see the introduction of John Henry. It looks like this New 52 John Henry is the same as the original, which I believe everyone will be happy about. It was fun watching Brainiac create little robot monsters. What is up with these back portraits of the main villains? They did with it Darkseid and now they are doing it with the brand new Brianiac. I love the new take on Brianiac because he doesn't have human features. He’s small and looks like a bug. It's fun watching a villain who looks weak yet wields so much power. More and more, I am loving Morrison’s and Rags Morales' take on Superman. He’s young and such an amateur. I think my one disappointment is Lex Luthor. He’s weak and that isn’t the Lex Luthor that I want to read.

Rating- 8/10

Swamp Thing #4

I am brand new to Swamp Thing. I never read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. I saw the movie when I was twelve and I don’t a remember it. Since issue one, it’s interesting to watch Alec Holland being confused, shocked and just completely lost. He's an interesting character. He wants nothing to do with Swamp Thing's legacy but at the same time he has nothing else to live for. By the way, when the hell are we going to see Swamp-Thing? It's four issues in and we’ve been teased with him but that’s it. It would be sort of cool if Alec could transform from human form to Swamp form. My guess is that diehard Swamp fans won’t be happy about that. By the way, the villain is not even ten years old and he gives me the creeps. 

Rating- 7.5/10 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Illumi-Nerdi and the Geek-etariat of the World Unite!

1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person. 2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
1.a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)  2. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual. 3.a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.

In neither of these definitions do we (geeks or nerds) come off so well. But these are dated, ignorant views of our culture. These terms have evolved so much in recent years and should really continue to do so. Geeks aren’t simply computer enthusiasts. And nerds are certainly not just single-minded savants obsessed with some ridiculous hobby. Both of these terms have been grossly misdiagnosed and misunderstood.
Yet despite these similar stereotypes, somehow geeks and nerds themselves still have a debate over which term is acceptable or superior.  Why do we qualify comic book devotees, gamers, sci-fi fans, Whovians, fanboys, Star Wars aficionados (why don’t they have a moniker?), and Trekkies as separate but NOT equal groups? Why should there be subclasses to an already persecuted group? It’s okay to qualify these groups as categories of the culture, but not to express them as less accepted or “losers”.

Snapper Carr: I always felt unaccepted or looked at in a funny way. Not because of my weight, or how I dressed but because of who I was at heart. Thor, Captain American, Iron Man and Batman weren’t cool when I was growing up. Even though I played high school soccer and was on the swim team I still wasn’t accepted because I was “different”. And even as a nerd or geek or whatever I was classified as, even I made fun of people who I thought were beneath me: those that played with Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. I realize more than ever that I was wrong and they should be just as accepted as I wanted to be.

Gabriel Partridge: I always got along with just about everyone. But I realized later that that had less to do with actually being cool or sociable as it did with trying to get along with people that wouldn’t accept me for what I was anyway. I always enjoyed playing sports but I never really enjoyed the people I was playing sports with. They weren’t the people I felt comfortable with. I wanted to be comfortable being a nerd, or a geek, or whatever name you want to give it. I loved science fiction. I loved Star Wars. Magic: The Gathering was fucking fun. Buffy really did it for me. But these things really weren’t that cool. And as a teen, being accepted is such an important thing, which is a shame. I’m not saying I was persecuted or beat up, but it kind of sucked not being able to be exactly who I wanted to be.

            We’ve been in several forums where posters have argued to be called a geek or a nerd. Others seem to be reluctant to admit it, but there’s nothing that really makes us different. We’re both not what’s considered “cool” and you know what, that’s not cool with us. But you know what? Nerd/geek culture seems to be pretty damn cool now, although non-nerds/non-geeks would probably hate to admit it. We’re trying to continue what Chris Hardwick is doing with the Nerdist (http://www.nerdist.com/) and Simon Pegg’s book Nerd Do Well (http://www.amazon.com/Nerd-Do-Well-Simon-Pegg/dp/1846058112) are doing because they both promote how cool it is the be like us.         
While people may not want to admit it, it is cool to be Nerdi. Look at the box office in recent years. It’s bursting with Nerdi movies: Captain America, Green Lantern, The Dark Knight, Star Trek, Inception, Iron Man, Transformers, Twilight (JK), Avatar, Harry Potter, X-Men, Tron:Legacy, and Thor. And that’s not all that’s doing well for Nerdi culture. The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Fringe are all thriving. Listen up geeks and nerds, we are all the same. At the end of the day, the only one thing matters to both of us is being accepted for who we really are. The Illumi-nerdi and the Geek-etariat of the world unite!  

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Top 5 TV Shows They Should Totally Do

5. Fables- It has kind of gotten overshadowed by the far less awesome Once Upon a Time but Bill Willingham’s Fables is shockingly addicting. While Once Upon a Time is entertaining, it features one-dimensional characters and no really likable male characters at all. Fables on the other hand is chock-full (yes I said chock-full) of intriguing and interesting characters. Fables offers the character development and dark tone that Once Upon a Time tries so hard to achieve. It satisfies with dozens of storylines each one chock-full bursting with plot twists and nostalgia. The characters inhibit the basic outline of the Brothers Grimm and Disney versions of the characters but take on a whole new progression. I’d love to see these characters go one more step on to the little screen.

4. Harry Potter- Okay, this one will never happen. But it’s only a matter of time before they decide to redo the Harry Potter films in one way or another and I think TV would be a pretty damn cool way to do it. My biggest complaint about the movies was that there was so much left out. It’s nearly impossible to translate a 4000+ page series into 18 hours of movies. This is the problem with most adaptations, too much is changed or just omitted because of time restraints. But if they did it as a TV series, you’d have all the time in the world to make sure each character and each event got its proper screen time.

3. Star Wars Sequel/Prequel- This has to be made. They announced that they were doing a show that would occur between episodes III and IV back in 2005 but it has received very little talk or attention since. While the Prequel trilogy wasn’t the best thing that ever happened, most of that can be blamed on the fact that you can’t really live up the greatest film trilogy ever made (and Hayden Christensen’s uber-annoying performance). I wouldn’t be quite as interested in an in-between III-IV TV series as I would be in watching a show that takes place years after Return of the Jedi. A series chronicling the founding of the New Republic and the new Jedi Academy would be awesome. Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie could all return in supporting roles while the new generation would be the focal point (without it being too much like Saved by the Bell: The New Class). Unfortunately this will probably never happen and all Star Wars nerds have to look forward to is Hayden Christensen quitting acting.

2. The Stand- Stephen King’s magnum opus would translate so well to a TV series. Well, they tried it once but it was so half assed I would barely count it. Gary Sinise as Stu was really good (but he’s always good) and Jamey Sheridan as Randall Flagg was actually pretty terrifying but the rest of the mini-series was terrible. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse of Lost always called The Stand one of their biggest influences and they would be perfect to take this on. It is so episodic already and features so many incredible characters. If it were done like Lost, in a character focused, flashbacks-laden (back to before the plague hit) show, it would be the most addicting thing since and maybe even more than, Lost.

1. Y: The Last Man- This is by far my favorite comic of all time. There have been talks for years of making into a movie but I just don’t see it. There is so much happening in this 60 issue maxiseries, that to do it in one movie (as studios seem to be demanding) would just be awful. They could never do it justice to show Yorick’s development (and certainly Agent 355 and Dr. Mann) in under 2 hours. If Joss Whedon were to do this as a TV series it would be phenomenal. One of the main dilemmas with Y is that there is only one male character (sort of) and hundreds of female characters. It would certainly be difficult to cast but if anyone were up to it, it would be Joss Whedon. He’s already proven that he can do incredible female driven projects (Buffy, Dollhouse, even Alien Resurrection) and write strongly for female characters even when they aren’t the main focus (Firefly). Zachary Levi from Chuck has expressed interest in playing Yorick and I think he’d be perfect. Gina Torres, Zoe from Firefly (even though she’s Cuban, not black) would be a really strong choice for 355.

Gabriel Partridge

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Illumi-Nerdi's Top Ten Heroes Lists

Snapper Carr's Top Ten Heroes List

10. Jack from Lost: Should you really question this? From the very first episode, you loved Jack. He never thought about himself and only those around him. He saved the world by defeating the Smoke Monster.

9. Kyle Rayner from especially Green Lantern: New Guardians: No, I was never a Hal Jordan fan growing up because Kyle was MY Green Lantern. Before you start judging me, think about what Kyle did. He was the last ring holder and he saved the Green Lantern Corp. Also, he didn’t cry/bitch when Hal came back, he knew the Corp would only be stronger than ever before.

8. Peter Petrelli from Heroes: Maybe it’s just me but Peter reminds me of Tim Tebow. Peter wasn’t perfect but he tried so damn hard to be the best hero. I know Heroes wasn’t a great show towards the end but I never stopped enjoying his character.

7. Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight: I know fellow Illumi-Nerdi Gabriel wouldn’t  agree with me but the guy cleaned up Gotham City…even if it was off screen.  He was the White Knight! He was perfect until he lost everything that mattered.

6. Doctor Who: I am brand new to the Doctor Who hysteria. If I grew up knowing him, he would be in my top 3 but that isn’t the case. He has saved thousands of worlds and travels in the freakin’ Tardis. By the way, I am Team David Tennant.

5. Nightwing: Q: The most beloved character in the DCU? A: Yes. The most trusted hero in any universe.

4. Cyclops: Six years ago, the Scarlet Witch almost exterminated the Mutant race. Guess who saved the day? Yep, this guy.  Cyclops makes the tough decisions that Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men can’t.

3. Batman: He isn’t an Anti-Hero soooo shut up already.

2. Spider-Man: He has Parker luck, which means nothing ever goes right in his life. Does he get all emo on us? No!! He never gives up.

1. Superman: Some might think this lame but you are wrong. I’ve been humming the Superman theme song since I was four. In high school, I grew up with Smallville and it made me believe that people can make a difference. Today, the new Action Comics’Superman is one of the best comic books in the last few years.


Rick from The Walking Dead: His wife died, his step-baby died and well his son got shot in the eye. Yes, he gets depressed here and there but he never ever stopped fighting the zombies.

Wally West: He is my Flash!!!!

Wolverine: I am waiting for someone to bitch about why he isn’t in my top ten.

Tim Drake: Even though Dick said Tim was his equal, Tim is the better Robin and is the better detective.   

Mark Grayson: Invincible- He could be the most flawed superhero of all time. His father kicked his ass, his mother blamed him for his father leaving and he just saved the universe from his own kind.

Gabriel Partridge's Top Ten Hero List  

10. Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes): Despite the fact that he probably had Aspberger’s Syndrome he invented modern crime fiction and consistently thwarted one of the best villains of all time, Professor Moriarty.

9. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly): He’s the Han Solo for the modern era, and I’d argue even more awesome.

8. Ellen Ripley (Alien): The only surviving member of the Nostromo, probably the most badass female character of all time. She went from survivor in Alien, to ass-kicker in the sequels.

7. The Doctor (Doctor Who): The ultimate hero across Time and Space. Ridiculously likable across all incarnations of the character plus  he encounters or defeats some of the most interesting personalities in history.

6. Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings): The true hero of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. While Aragorn is the King, and Frodo is the ring-bearer, Sam was Frodo’s only dependable friend (and eventual ring-bearer himself) and was the ultimate reason the One Ring got destroyed, leading to Frodo, Aragorn’s and the rest of free Middle Earth’s triumph.

5. Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): She died twice but keeps coming back to fight back the Hellmouth and save the world.

4. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars): The only consistent hero through all six of the Star Wars films. He trains the Jedi that balances the force and makes a paraplegic out of the Sith that threatens the entire universe.

3. Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones): Come on. He keeps the Ark of the Covenant out of the hands of the most vile people in modern history, prevents a psychopathic Thugee from obtaining the sacred Shiva Lingam Stones, and stops the Nazis from voiding out Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Not bad for a few years work.

2. Jack Shephard (Lost): As in true Lost fashion, Jack had his ups and downs. He was perfect, and then imperfect, and then almost a non-event (season five). But he ultimately became one of the most important characters in television history. Throughout the brilliant six seasons of the show he sacrificed so much for the group he came to care so much about. In the end he made the ultimate sacrifice one could make, he gave himself up for the preservation of the Island, his friends and the world.

1. Yorick Brown (Y: The Last Man): The only remaining male from the gendercide that wipes out half the population. He proves himself to be more than that quirky, witty, obnoxious egocentric prick he seems to be at the beginning. He is one of the only consistently likable characters in modern comics. He is without fail a completely likeable wiseass that is so rare in pop culture these days. You can’t help but like him and oh, by the way, he saves mankind.

Honorable Mentions

Ash Williams (The Evil Dead): He kicks so much ass and has a chin to match.

Dexter Morgan (Dexter): Anti-Heroes are pretty tough to defend but how can you argue with killing murderers and rapists?

Daredevil (Daredevil): I love Frank Miller’s Daredevil and a blind guy is always an awesome underdog.

Agent 355 (Y: The Last Man): How can you not love Yorick’s tragic care-taker?

Korben Dallas (The Fifth Element): I seriously regret not putting Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg in my favorite villains because Gary Oldman is consistently the best villain ever. But The Fifth Element itself deserves a place and Korben Dallas is such a cool hero from an underrated Sci-Fi flick. 

Keep spreading the word of the Nerdi. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Must Buys of the Week 11/30/2011

10. Avengers Origins: Thor
9. Invincible Volume 3 (Issues 48-70)
8. Brilliant #1 (Second Printing)
7. Haunt #19
6. Star Trek #3
5. Vertigo Resurrected: Sgt. Rock
4. Pilot Season: Theory of Everything
3. Morning Glories Volume 1 (Issues 1-12)
2. T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents
1. Fables #111

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Holiday Gift for the Women in your Life

It's the Holiday Season!

Do you know a woman who reads comic books? Yeah, we don't either. But that shouldn't discourage us. I present you a list of comic books that could win over the women in your life.

Do you know a woman who loves Lost and gets teary eyed when she thinks of Sun and Jin?

I have the comic book for them. It's called Morning Glories and its published by Shadowline. There are plenty of similarities between Lost and Morning Glories. In M.G., one student's parents are killed, students have attempted to assassinate their teacher and the spanish inquisition are involved. Each issue is full of intrigue and mystery.  Trust me, when I say this could be the best book on the market.

Is your lady a fan of Stephen King?

American Vampire Cover -1.jpg

For the Holidays, surprise her with "American Vampire". I know not every woman enjoys Twilight but I am certain that they might find this graphic novel interesting. The story focuses around an American species of vampires through several decades. By the way, the first story arc was co-written by Stephen King.

Is your lady obsessed with AMC's The Walking Dead ?

You should introduce her to the comic book. I've only read the first six graphic novels but I enjoyed it. There are plenty of similarities and differences between both mediums. The emotion in the TV show can be found in the book. When Carl shot ********, all the readers' jaws dropped.

Does she miss Disney's fairy tale movies?

I would like to introduce you to Fables by Bill Willingham. The concept is the characters from the fairy tales we grew up with, now live in our world. The story is based in a neighborhood called Fabletown. In our world, Snow White is now the Deputy Mayor of Fabletown, The Big Bad Wolf is the Sheriff of Fabletown and Prince Charming has been married and divorced three times. Each issue will leave you wanting more. Fables Vol 8: Wolves (one of my graphic novels of all time) ends the story's first era.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Illumi-Nerdi's Top 10 Villain lists.

Snapper Carr's Top 10 List
10. Ben Linus (Lost: He is worse than any politician, what a flip flopper.)

9. Miss Daramount (Morning Glories: She’s a bitch. Her students have even tried to assassinate her)

8. Walternate (Fringe: He is a cold blooded killer. I guess you would be too if your alternate self stole your son.)

7. Cylons. (Either you loved or hated the new BSG. Each week you had no idea who to love, hate or trust)

6. Zod (Superman Two: You need to have big balls to tell Superman to kneel before you.)
5. The Scarlet Witch (No More Mutants!)

4. Nero (He changed the Star Trek universe forever and not everyone was happy about it. Nothing is worse than pissing off the fans)

3. Nemesis (He forced a brother and sister to have sex just to piss off his enemy)

2. Joker (He killed a Robin)

1. The Walkers (Sorry Rick…They won and you lost)

 1- Lex Luthor 
2- Mister Sinister
3- T-1000
4- The Master (Doctor Who)
5- Darth Vader

Gabriel Partridge's Top 10 Villains

10. Colonel Miles Quaritch- Avatar. A truly awful guy. Anybody that attempts to wipe out an entire race of peaceful blue cat people deserves a spot on my list.

9. General Sarris- Galaxy Quest. Sarris is an awesome villain from a seriously underrated sci-fi movie. He embodies all the worst traits of the best Star Trek villains.

8. Ozymandias, Watchmen. An absolutely brilliant villain. He continues the “evil guy with a cat” tradition like Ernst Blofeld from James Bond and Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. And I always love it when a character that you think is good turns out to be the villain.

7. Randall Flagg- The Stand, The Dark Tower, The Eyes of the Dragon. He’s pure evil and is the main antagonist in so many of Stephen King’s greatest works.

6. T-1000, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. I saw this movie for the first time when I was 5 years old and Robert Patrick as the T-1000 absolutely terrified me. 

5. Biff Tannen- Back to the Future. He constantly bullies poor George McFly, he steals the sports almanac and alters future history by making himself filthy rich and having George killed, he tries to kill Marty and he attempts to rape Lorraine McFly. ‘Nuff said. 

4. Joker, Batman- What villain list would be complete without this chaotic madman?

3. Man in Black/Smoke Monster, Lost. The enigmatic Smoke Monster terrorized our Losties for years before the revelation that it was actually a man trapped on the Island by his brother, Jacob.

2. Darth Vader, Star Wars. Come on, It’s Vader.

1. Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Epically Lucrative Franchise. Voldemort is the ultimate baddy. He’s a psychopathic, mass-murdering, creepy-looking bastard. And what’s going on with him and that snake?

Sauron (The Lord of the Rings)
Clover (Cloverfield)
Lucas Caravaggio (Locke & Key)
Xenomorph (Alien)
Jafar (Aladdin)